Michael K. Cantwell, P.C.

Intellectual Property and Media Law Attorney



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Michael K. Cantwell has practiced intellectual property and media law for fifteen years, with a concentration on trademark, copyright, publishing and defamation law.

Prior to establishing his own practice in 2005, Mr. Cantwell was a specialist in intellectual property law in the New York offices of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP and, before that, Dewey Ballantine LLP.  In that capacity, Mr. Cantwell was responsible for managing his clients’ trademarks and drafting and negotiating intellectual property agreements, including trademark and technology licenses and publishing, escrow, securitization and web site agreements. He also counseled corporate attorneys on intellectual property issues arising in acquisitions, mergers and divestitures, debt financing and bankruptcy proceedings and IPOs, private placements and other investment transactions.

In his current practice, Mr. Cantwell represents a diverse range of clients, including both mid-sized and small corporations as well as sole proprietorships, offering a variety of services related to the acquisition, protection and commercialization of their intellectual property, including the following:

•           Drafting and negotiation of software licenses and trademark prosecution and enforcement for a leading vendor of software programs used in electronic derivatives trading.

•           Drafting and negotiation of publishing and consulting agreements for the leading provider of news, analysis and consulting services for European and global power, gas and carbon markets.

•           Drafting and negotiation of product licenses and trademark prosecution and enforcement for a NYC-based artist and designer.

•           Copyright and trademark prosecution for a nonprofit community organization that performs magic, mime and music for over 10,000 critically ill and homeless children.

•           Trademark prosecution for a leading Pacific Rim fabrics house.

Mr. Cantwell also is of counsel to the media law and intellectual property practice of Henry R. Kaufman, P.C., where he is principally involved in litigating media defamation claims, pre-publication vetting of manuscripts for a major publisher and advising clients in connection with the acquisition, protection and commercialization of their intellectual property.

Mr. Cantwell began his legal career working in the media and copyright law practice of Henry R. Kaufman and for the Libel Defense Resource Center (n.k.a. the Media Law Resource Center), for which Mr. Kaufman served as General Counsel and Mr. Cantwell served as Associate General Counsel.

Prior to entering law school, Mr. Cantwell had more than 14 years’ business experience developing, managing and publishing scientific journals for Elsevier Science Publishing Co. (n.k.a. Reed-Elsevier) and the American Institute of Physics. Mr. Cantwell received a masters degree in intellectual property law from New York University in 1997 and a JD from St. John’s University in 1993.

Mr. Cantwell served on a variety of New York City Bar Association committees, including the Trademark and Unfair Competition (2013-2014 and 2006-2009), the Copyright & Literary Property Committee (2009-2012), and the
Information Technology Law (2003-2006).  He has published widely in the areas of intellectual property, media and civil rights law and served on the editorial board of The Trademark Reporter, the official journal of the International Trademark Association, between 2004 and 2007.


1997, New York University School of Law, LL.M., Trade Regulation/Intellectual Property

1993, St. John’s University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, Articles Editor, New York International Law Review; Publications Editor, American Bankruptcy Institute Law Review

1978, New York University, M.A., English Literature

1976, City University of New York, B.A., Mathematics, cum laude

Confusion, Dilution and Speech: First Amendment Limitations on the Trademark Estate: An Update, The Trademark Reporter (May/June 2004)

Linking and Framing on the Internet: Recent Developments and the Boundaries of Fair Use, Journal of the Copyright Society of the USA (Summer 2002)

Exploring the Boundaries of Coexisting Trademarks, New York Law Journal (January 15, 1999) (co-author)

Confusion, Dilution, and Speech: First Amendment Limitations on the Trademark Estate, The Trademark Reporter (January/February 1997)

Torts and the Due Process Clause, Temple Political and Civil Rights Law Review (Fall 1995)

Reflections on the New ALI Restatement (Third) of Unfair Competition, National Law Journal (February 1995) (co-author)

Moldea II: Are Book Reviews Protected? Publisher’s Weekly (October 1994) (co-author)
Potential Impact of the Uniform Correction or Clarification of Defamation Act on Damages, LDRC Bulletin (July 1994) (co-author)

“Breathing Space” in the “Two-Live Crew” Case, National Law Journal (May 1994) (co-author)




©2005-2017 Michael K. Cantwell